Last week I shared revelations from my first two days of driving with Uber. It is amazing what you can discover about yourself while sitting in the driver’s seat for four hours or so. Read Confessions of an Uber Driver, Part 1 to see what I mean. It reveals how much we can learn from each other if we are willing to step out of our comfort zones.
My Driving Fears Reveal More Fears
Since I am new to the Charlotte area, I use the GPS on my phone so I won’t get lost. I am nervous about driving after dark, however, I know the best way is to face my fears.
Like when I visited Missiongathering Christian Church for the first time. I wasn’t sure what to expect at a gay-affirming church. My concerns grew as I drove that morning. I passed several unkempt yards with houses that needed a fresh coat of paint, couches on the front porch, and a trail of trash leading to toppled garbage cans. Instinctively, I made sure my doors were locked.
“If the church is in this neighborhood, I’m not sure any more if I want to go,” I thought.
As I pulled up to the small brick church, I saw an older white man sitting on the steps wearing a torn shirt and holey pants. His hair was uncombed and he was holding a worn Bible. The more I allowed the stereotypes to play in my head, the more I feared parking my car. I pictured an LGBT congregation of punk rockers full of body piercings, tattoos, and colorful hair. Not only was I afraid that I would not fit in, I knew I would surely stand out!
Overcome by my misplaced fears, I quickly turned my head away from the building and kept driving down the road.
Staying Open in the Face of Fear
That afternoon, I watched a baptism video from Missiongathering on Facebook. I carefully examined the people in the congregation and realized they were just like me.
“I’m not going to let my fears hold me back!” I resolved.
I arrived early the next Sunday and met several nice people. I thoroughly enjoyed the service too. Despite my initial uneasiness, I decided to make this my church home. One of the things that drew me was their focus on outreach and helping others. They converted a small, weathered, blue shed in the rear parking lot into a store. The church gives away food and clothing to the community.
So I faced my fears and misconceptions that day, and I will continue to do so as I live my purpose.
Sometimes you will run into fears, but you can’t let them stop you from trying new things. Our stereotypes about people are usually nothing like we expect. We need to acknowledge them and put them out of our minds so we can move forward.
My idea about a gay-affirming church kept me from attending that first day, but I realize staying in a safe place won’t allow me to be who God wants me to be. There are always greater things over the horizon for you and me; we just have to keep moving forward to reach them.
My New Job Reveals Opportunities to Grow
Originally, my plan was to start driving for Uber after the my new book, The Call to Soar, was released. But I decided to start sooner than later with some persistent nudging from my daughter. I’m glad I did because my first two days have revealed several areas where I want to grow.
In order to make my flexible driving job profitable I need to commit to a schedule. I’ve been “retired” for so long that it’s difficult to jumpstart my motivation. When I think about fulfilling my dream to write a book, I want to be disciplined even if it makes me a little uncomfortable.
The more diverse riders I pick up, the more I notice how much I prejudge people based on negative stereotypes. I don’t want anyone to judge me when they learn that I’m a Christian who is gay. So I’m going to lead by example and give others unconditional service.
People are a lot more open-hearted and welcoming than you might think. They come from all walks of life and have a destination in mind. As their Uber driver, I get the privilege of sharing a few minutes of their day. I become a fingerprint in their life story, and they touch my heart with their presence.
I’ve enjoyed my Uber adventures so far. Overall, my first two days driving taught me plenty about myself. I need to get back out there and drive — maybe I’ll hit the road again this weekend!
Do you want to be an Uber driver?… Click Here to learn more.
What fears have you overcome by facing them head on? What revelations have you received while driving along in your car? Leave me a comment. I’d love to learn from you!